Author Topic: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?  (Read 12333 times)

IowaStache

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2014, 09:58:57 AM »
Personally I love the article. And I'm really surprised by the "He's picking on medical bankruptcies" vibe I see in so many of the comments. It was ONE example of a possibility, and it very well could be accurate. But MMM in NO WAY suggests that ALL medical bankruptcies are the cause of poor decision making. I didn't expect so many readers of this blog to see this as anything other than a reminder that the financial decisions you make now need to be optimized in order to insulate yourself from potential disaster in the future.
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AllieVaulter

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2014, 10:17:33 AM »
I also thought the article was great.  Americans (of all ages) have fallen into the trap of giving in to the demands of now without any thought to the future.  And when the future comes, we some how manage to find everyone else at fault for our situation.  There are SOME situations which are completely out of a person's control, but MOST of the time, people get themselves into bad situations.  We see this financially, but it's also common in relationships and personal decisions.  When you make choices without regard to the future, don't expect to enjoy what the future brings! 

Anti-ComplainyPants

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2014, 11:53:02 AM »
Agreed. Many of the complaints that I've read sound like,

"But...but there are exceptions! THIS BLOG POST IS IRRELEVANT!"

Yes, there are exceptions. There are also a stunning amount of disasters and hardships that any of us would be better prepared for, if not able to avoid altogether, by having implemented a more future-focused perspective that is mindful of how many opportunities we have to give gifts to our future selves.

Bravo
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ms

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2014, 11:56:29 AM »
I thought this was a great article.  I know my past self was not too kind to my present self but now my present self is trying to make things right for my future self. 

Though, I have a question and I'm wondering if someone could point me in the right direction.

What happens to the arguement where "why should my present self sacrifice and save for something that is not guaranteed to my future self"?  This is what I'm faced with when I try to explain that it's important to save for the future.  The examples given back to me are "my grandparents saved for years and years and then the Soviet Union collapsed and inflation was high and suddenly the 10000 rubles they saved could only buy two loaves of bread" and "how do I know that the money will be there sitting in my RRSP in 30 years when I'm ready to retire?"

How do I convince my significant other that he will not be shafting his present self for this future self?

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TrMama

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2014, 12:13:11 PM »
I thought this was a great article.  I know my past self was not too kind to my present self but now my present self is trying to make things right for my future self. 

Though, I have a question and I'm wondering if someone could point me in the right direction.

What happens to the arguement where "why should my present self sacrifice and save for something that is not guaranteed to my future self"?  This is what I'm faced with when I try to explain that it's important to save for the future.  The examples given back to me are "my grandparents saved for years and years and then the Soviet Union collapsed and inflation was high and suddenly the 10000 rubles they saved could only buy two loaves of bread" and "how do I know that the money will be there sitting in my RRSP in 30 years when I'm ready to retire?"

How do I convince my significant other that he will not be shafting his present self for this future self?

Because the vast majority of the time those catastrophic things either don't happen, or we can see them coming with enough time to avoid or mitigate them. Take, for example, my MIL. She has a list of serious, generally fatal problems as long as her arm. If you listen to the naysayers, she should not be alive. She listened to them. Therefore, she did not save any money or implement any of the lifestyle changes that would've paid off in spades. She is now broke, extremely disabled and in pain. Her past self was happy, but her present self is completely shafted. Her future self will be in a world of pain. If she'd taken appropriate action in the past her life would be much, much more enjoyable today. The sacrifice would have certainly been worth the payoff.

More succinctly put, the amount of payoff is exponentially better than the amount of sacrifice.

My great-grandfather was able to foresee problems in Russia before the revolution. He was therefore able to escape before becoming a victim. I'm sure at the time leaving his home sucked. However, his future self was alive to appreciate the sacrifice.

ms

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2014, 12:18:59 PM »
More succinctly put, the amount of payoff is exponentially better than the amount of sacrifice.

Thanks for this!

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2014, 12:25:20 PM »
I enjoyed the post and it made sense to me.  For various reasons, the majority of them self-inflicted, I didn't get my shit together until my early thirties and I was fortunate that I did, but I could have been even better off than I am now had I not been so face-punchingly stupid.  There's two quotes on the entry that I love, the first from Triple M himself:

Quote
And to be clear, this article isn’t meant to be some amazing solution for the people who are actually genuinely poor and struggling due to real life disadvantages. That takes more wisdom and sensitivity than I have learned so far.

Instead, it’s for the gigantic middle and upper classes that have every advantage and STILL blow every cent they make and end up living their entire lives in debt. Even among people who make loads of money, I find that over 90% are still virtually broke. That’s a big target market and worthy of a few punches to the face.

The other is from a poster named Marie:

Quote
was raised a poor black child in the South in segregated schools up until middle school, and for my little brain back then my elementary school’s media center (library) served me well and so did the municipal library. Though money was tight I was rich because I had a mom and other adults who encouraged my reading. This was to counter all the other people complaining I had my head in a book all the time and that I was “acting white”. Low expectations is another form of racism and classism, so I don’t except that whole thing that poor people can’t help themselves and will be forever downtrodden bs.
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Professor Ecks

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2014, 12:34:05 PM »
I enjoyed the post and it made sense to me.  For various reasons, the majority of them self-inflicted, I didn't get my shit together until my early thirties and I was fortunate that I did, but I could have been even better off than I am now had I not been so face-punchingly stupid.  There's two quotes on the entry that I love, the first from Triple M himself:

Quote
And to be clear, this article isn’t meant to be some amazing solution for the people who are actually genuinely poor and struggling due to real life disadvantages. That takes more wisdom and sensitivity than I have learned so far.

Instead, it’s for the gigantic middle and upper classes that have every advantage and STILL blow every cent they make and end up living their entire lives in debt. Even among people who make loads of money, I find that over 90% are still virtually broke. That’s a big target market and worthy of a few punches to the face.

THIS.

I am bewildered, however, that MMM had to explain this in the first place. I guess it seemed self-evident to me after reading so many of his previous posts.
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Worsted Skeins

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2014, 12:55:23 PM »
Mixed feelings on this one. While I appreciate the general theme of the post, I do sense that MMM lacks sympathy for those who may not have begun with all of his advantages. 

One thing that I think all of us can do besides preaching to choir here on the forum is try to assist (via sweat or wisdom)  those who may not see the light. I teach sewing to kids as a community service project. But I am trying to teach more than sewing.  Many of these kids were raised in a consumer lifestyle and don't know that there are other paths. Reach them when they are young!

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2014, 01:09:38 PM »
I liked it. It's pretty simple really:

A lifetime of good choices and hard work will usually result in a positive outcome.
A lifetime of bad choices and cutting corners will usually result in a negative outcome.

This applies to finances, health/fitness, maturity, knowledge, and skills, and I'm sure many other factors I can't name quickly. Just remember that usually part. Usually, not always. There are always exceptions, but the post has nothing to do with the exceptions, he's talking about the majority.
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MandalayVA

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2014, 01:14:33 PM »
Mixed feelings on this one. While I appreciate the general theme of the post, I do sense that MMM lacks sympathy for those who may not have begun with all of his advantages. 

If you read what I quoted from his reply, you'll see that's not the case at all.  No, a lot of people don't come out of the college gate making a hundred grand a year ... but a lot of people do and that's against whom he rails. 
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Simple Abundant Living

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2014, 01:17:37 PM »
I thought this was a great article.  I know my past self was not too kind to my present self but now my present self is trying to make things right for my future self. 

Though, I have a question and I'm wondering if someone could point me in the right direction.

What happens to the arguement where "why should my present self sacrifice and save for something that is not guaranteed to my future self"?  This is what I'm faced with when I try to explain that it's important to save for the future.  The examples given back to me are "my grandparents saved for years and years and then the Soviet Union collapsed and inflation was high and suddenly the 10000 rubles they saved could only buy two loaves of bread" and "how do I know that the money will be there sitting in my RRSP in 30 years when I'm ready to retire?"

How do I convince my significant other that he will not be shafting his present self for this future self?

I think that a well-diversified stock portfolio will not steer you wrong in the end, but if you are concerned about the value of the dollar or the stock market collapsing, you can take a more conservative path. First, pay off your dwelling. Having a roof over your head that no one can take away will never go out of style.  Then look at buying rental properties for cash.  Having cash flow from something built of bricks and mortar can make you feel secure.  Third, keep relevant with your employable skills so that if your bank account was suddenly empty, you can work and support yourself. 

Btw, I loved the article and thought it was spot on!
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arebelspy

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2014, 01:33:44 PM »
The wife and I have talked in terms of "past self" and "future self" for a decade or so.

It's a great concept, IMO.

One of the quote I have saved in Evernote from this forum from years ago was something sol said:
Quote
Personally, I consider myself "in the red" because I don't yet have enough assets to support my current lifestyle without working.  I'm living on borrowed time, because my current consumption obligates me to continue working and saving to grow my stash.  I won't think of myself as "out of debt" until I'm financially independent, because until then I'm borrowing from my own future.

Absolutely!

I'm not yet FIRE'd, so when I spend money now I'm obligating myself to work more to pay for that.  The less I spend now, the less my future self has to work.
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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2014, 01:47:59 PM »
Does anyone know someone who truly did everything "right" and was financially wiped out by some fateful event?

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2014, 03:02:55 PM »

One of the quote I have saved in Evernote from this forum from years ago was something sol said:
Quote
Personally, I consider myself "in the red" because I don't yet have enough assets to support my current lifestyle without working.  I'm living on borrowed time, because my current consumption obligates me to continue working and saving to grow my stash.  I won't think of myself as "out of debt" until I'm financially independent, because until then I'm borrowing from my own future.

Brilliant! Thanks for sharing.

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2014, 03:16:30 PM »
The wife and I have talked in terms of "past self" and "future self" for a decade or so.

It's a great concept, IMO.

One of the quote I have saved in Evernote from this forum from years ago was something sol said:
Quote
Personally, I consider myself "in the red" because I don't yet have enough assets to support my current lifestyle without working.  I'm living on borrowed time, because my current consumption obligates me to continue working and saving to grow my stash.  I won't think of myself as "out of debt" until I'm financially independent, because until then I'm borrowing from my own future.

Absolutely!

I'm not yet FIRE'd, so when I spend money now I'm obligating myself to work more to pay for that.  The less I spend now, the less my future self has to work.

That's awesome! And really exactly how I view my current spending. Ever dollar I spend now results in a delayed FIRE date. Really causes me to ponder my spending and if it reflects my values. So long-term self-improvement expenses are in, but most luxuries would be out.

sabertooth3

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2014, 03:19:35 PM »
There was an article in the Washingtonian magazine called "Can You Afford To Live Here?" that profiled 5-6 families that almost all made >$100k and complained about not having any savings and how expensive DC is. Disclaimer- there were some people profiled that made much less, and those people were usually a lot smarter with their money. But the entire article (it's behind a paywall) is just one facepalm after another.

This MMM blog post speaks directly to that article, so it's a most timely post from MMM!

brooklynguy

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2014, 10:32:41 AM »
I liked the post, but I think MMM lost control of the reins with his extended unicycle-and-elephant-juggling analogy.

Quote
A new graduate with outstanding student loans is like a person riding a unicycle in November, just before the start of an icy winter. Balance is tricky, but it can be done. The pavement is dry now, but you know that ice is coming. So do you jack up the seat of the unicycle another 20 feet and balance a few fire-juggling elephants atop a broomstick which extends from your hat? Do you open a can of grease with your other hand and squeeze some onto the tire of the unicycle, and then start pedaling through town to go see if you can find a half pipe to bust out a few frontsides? Again, “Holy Shit No” would be wise advice to your future self.

You slow down the unicycle, set your feet on the ground, and adopt a stable stance. Then you gently set down and free the elephants, find yourself some winter boots, a coat, gloves, hat, food and shelter. With continued preparation and ingenuity, you can be out making snow angels and watching the winter moons, instead of having your frozen and crushed body blackening in the shadow of the elephant corpses, being nibbled away by raccoons until the eventual maggot infestation when the spring thaw comes.

The strange part to me is that while most people would consider this lesson in Unicycle Strategy to be self-evident, when it comes to money they are right there at the elephant shop adding the broomsticks and grease to their shopping cart. So let’s set this gruesome metaphor aside and consider a more reasonable financial strategy. Something that will prove to be a gift to your future self rather than a crushing lifelong hindrance.

I liked the first paragraph, but by the second one it started to sound like a bad parody of MMM's iconic writing style.  And it lacks internal coherence -- why does the prudent person have to "set down and free the elephants"?  He should not have any elephants in the first place.

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2014, 12:28:26 PM »
Quote
I liked the post, but I think MMM lost control of the reins with his extended unicycle-and-elephant-juggling analogy.

Good point. This is the only portion of the article I didn't really care for. I found myself struggling to remain interested while reading about the elephants. It felt like he was "trying to hard." Parody...that's a great way to describe it.
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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2014, 12:55:29 PM »
Does anyone know someone who truly did everything "right" and was financially wiped out by some fateful event?

I don't have a specific example but pre-ACA, when many Americans were uninsured, one medical disaster was all it took.

We never went without insurance but if we hadn't had access to employer sponsored insurance, we would have been uninsured as we couldnt obtain private insurance and the preexisting conditions we had weren't covered by our state's high risk pool.  Add those types of cases to the many lower class people who legitimately couldn't afford the premiums (no subsidies) and you have a pretty good pool of people.
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Ohio Teacher

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2014, 07:10:38 PM »
Quote
I liked the post, but I think MMM lost control of the reins with his extended unicycle-and-elephant-juggling analogy.

Good point. This is the only portion of the article I didn't really care for. I found myself struggling to remain interested while reading about the elephants. It felt like he was "trying to hard." Parody...that's a great way to describe it.
Same here.  I didn't actually read the entire analogy passage because it interrupted too much from the rest of the blog post.  A rare lapse in literary judgment for him.

Ynari

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2014, 11:48:00 PM »
I think of past, current, and future selves a lot...  but mostly in the context of procrastination. Curse you, past self!

What bothers me is people who think there's no "winning" so they shouldn't even try. Like "I know I'm not going to be able to retire at 65 so I'm not going to save a dime." or "My uncle lived really healthy but still got a heart attack at age 50, so there's no point in me eating healthy." Do they not understand that mitigating negative events in the future is as good as producing good ones?

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2014, 04:11:45 AM »
I too was a bit surprised at his comment about medical bankruptcies, kind of hard to afford massive medical bills when you’ve only been working a few years.

Quote
And to be clear, this article isn’t meant to be some amazing solution for the people who are actually genuinely poor and struggling due to real life disadvantages. That takes more wisdom and sensitivity than I have learned so far.

Instead, it’s for the gigantic middle and upper classes that have every advantage and STILL blow every cent they make and end up living their entire lives in debt. Even among people who make loads of money, I find that over 90% are still virtually broke. That’s a big target market and worthy of a few punches to the face.

I agree with the person who commented that he should bring this up each post, if for not other reason than his blog audience has grown so much that he’s no longer niche, plus it might help keep the politics out of it. Been thinking of starting a thread about the whys of poverty, that why do people who grow up poor make such stupid financial decisions, things like renting tires and furniture etc. Why do poor blacks seem to cycle in and out of jail etc. Got a few good links but not enough to start a new thread.

One thing I’d like to see him cover more are posts on  how to crawl out of the hole when you’re middle class. A good example of this was when Yahoo featured  him, a lady left the following comment (not quoted)

Met my husband in university, got married had two kids, than bought a big house, two cars and a ton of school debt. I want to be a SAHM but can’t afford that much less early retirement.

-or-

My niece who when I asked her about YNAB said “will it solve the issue of too many bills not enough money. In her case the economy, unemployment, pay cuts etc.

Over all a great post again.






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jamaicaspanish

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2014, 05:09:49 AM »
I like to think of my future self in the extreme short term.
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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2014, 06:51:36 AM »
I like to think of my future self in the extreme short term.
Heavily Drinking Jamaicaspanish (last night) receives high praise from slightly hung over Jamaicaspanish (this morning) for drinking plenty of water, closing the curtains before going to bed, and not ordering in pizza while drunk.

Word.
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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2014, 07:08:50 AM »
    It seems like the comments here are more reasonable than the articles comments due to only members commenting here. Anyone who stumbles onto MMM articles can comment on them. Seems as if we have read his other stuff and get it.

Retire-Canada

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2015, 08:56:47 AM »
I definitely gave myself the shaft when I was younger. I didn't do the usual student loans, credit card debt, etc.. In fact I never held any debt and saved every year.

I just squandered some shockingly high earning years by saving far less than I could have. I'd easily be FI when I was 37 if I had done that.

The good news is the fact I did save something and didn't go into debt means that when I realized I wanted to get FI fast I had a base of investments that I can start from which makes the process say 5 more years of focused savings vs. 10 years +.

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zoltani

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #29 on: March 05, 2015, 03:02:51 PM »
Dear mustache friends, I suggest that instead of the shaft you go ahead and give yourself the full thing! Much happy mustaches in this case!

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Making Cookies

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2016, 03:57:45 PM »
My wife and I have discussed whether we think we'd find success in a different time and place. The point is - do we have certain behaviors that would likely serve us well anywhere and anytime?

We think yes. I suspect the MMM forum is chock full of people who would also do well anytime and anywhere.

And on the opposite side of the table - there are people who would always be the working folk never able to get ahead no matter what opportunities presented themselves b/c these other people won't make the sustained efforts to make the right choices - it seems.

Maybe they'll figure out "success" later in life than someone like me who was a late bloomer too. 

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Re: This one should be fun - Are You Giving the Shaft to your Future Self?
« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2016, 12:56:28 AM »
I've introduced the past-current-future self dialog with my wife to discuss financial decisions and joke around a bit :) Has helped with discussing finances and discussing life choices.

Thankfully my past self was pretty spend thrifty but just didn't put the money to good use for my future self. Current self is working on this. You better appreciate this future self! :) (Current self is pretty damn happy though!)

EcoCanuck